Students! After years of being forced to wear a uniform, you're finally free. Free to wear what you want. And free, apparently, to dress exactly like other students. Hooray!
Earlier this spring, people online in Japan began commenting (complaining?) that it seemed like college students, especially male ones, dressed the same. Now, it's the female students' turn.
Recently on Twitter, people have been tweeting about how the country's students lack individuality and look like "clones". The below image, for example, has been retweeted over 17,000 times.
People in Japan are commenting how people's clothing and hairstyles appear the same. The inference here is certainly not that all Asians look the same. (Note that in Japan, however, some people do comment on how they think all foreigners look the same and that they are unable to tell them apart!)
There could be several reasons as to why college students, both male and female, seem to dress alike. One is that they are all reading the same fashion mags. And thus, they are also shopping at the same shops!
Often when variety shows introduce the latest styles, they'll have popular models talk about what's in. This could another reason why the same kids end up in the same clothes or with the same styles.
Another reason is that over 95 percent of Japanese high school students wear school uniforms. So, as previously mentioned, that could make them more susceptible to the latest fashion trends when they get out of high school.
Dressing alike isn't something that only happens in Japan, mind you. Tumblr We Look the Same Sometimes is proof of that!
As for the ubiquitous hairstyles, college students might dye their hair similar colors because the majority of them are not allowed to color their hair as high school students. So when they enter college, many students look forward to finally being able to do what they want with their hair.
On Twitter, people had a variety of opinions about how college students seem to lack individuality (and to be honest, college students in every country probably dress the same). "Where their individuality?" wrote one Japanese Twitter user. "It's a strange sight to behold, sure, but don't all you geeks, as seen from the outside, dress the same, too?" asked another.
"It feels like 'following fashion' and 'showing your individuality' are polar opposites," wrote one astute Twitter user in Japanese. "They're clones," said one. In the students' defense, many of them seem to have a good sense of humor about it when they run into classmates with the same outfits and hairdos, uploading pics to Twitter and cracking jokes or making light of the kwinky dink. You know, jokes.
There's nothing funny about this sticker pic, though. Nothing.
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.